Sunday, February 14, 2010
Fast Thoughts On The Comics Released The Week of 02/03/2010
CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE #4 - I love this mini-series SO much. It reminds me of why I loved Fables so much before Bill Willingham began phoning it in. And I especially loved this one - even though the shoe-making subplot has been brought to it's obvious and inevitable conclusion - because it let me see the Fables take on one of my favorite characters as a kid - Puss N'Boots.
It may be too late to catch the early issues at a reasonable price, but you should all definitely consider ordering the trade-paperback.
CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #18 - More flashbacks as we learn how Conan lost one command only to gain another, much more to his liking as a leader of fighters rather than as a leader of men.
One touch I did like here was how the cliche of Conan's boorishness and/or a princess's fickleness leading to violent conflict is avoided. Despite an undignified dismissal at the hands of his rival and Conan's angry response, Conan is still allowed to leave the kingdom unmolested and actual parts ways in relatively good circumstances.
DOCTOR WHO #8 - A stirring conclusion to last issue's cliff-hanger, with the Doctor and his new companions weathering an assault that leaves the TARDIS coming apart at the seams and The Doctor struggling to find a path back to the control room.
We do start to get a sense of The Doctor's new companions (Emily Winter and Matthew Finnegan) here, as our villain attempts to sow dissension in the ranks. Indeed, the villain offers a rather insidious explanation for why it is The Doctor seems to take on more female companions than male ones and why he only ever seems to take male companions on under duress. It's frightening but it does make a rather odd sense given most of the women The Doctor has adopted, so to speak. And it sets Matthew to questioning everything about just why he is traveling with The Doctor. Emily doesn't get quite as much development, being sort of a Rose Lite here, but at least she is presented as being spirited and competent, even if her main accomplishment here is persuading a group of aliens to take her where she needs to go.
Not a bad issue by any means but I can't help be feel sort of nonplussed at the ending. Not two issues into a story where The Doctor picks up some new companions and is getting ready to move on to new and better things... he's getting called by Martha, begging for help.
If this comic really is going to fill in some stories in the gap between Season Four and The Specials, I think it would be best if it did it free of most of the trappings of the regular series. If we are to enjoy the new companions, let us enjoy the new companions for a bit before dragging Martha back into the mix.
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #158 - We go back to basics with most of the comics this time around, getting several short, funny slice-of-life comics depicting the various games and events involving the gamers of Muncie, Indiana. They're all pretty funny but my favorite is Bob's understandable confusion to Weird Pete's return to a dark and illegal business that he swore off in college even as he now swears to keep it out of his turf and out of the hands of kids.
What? He means weighted dice. What did you think he was talking about?
The Gaming The Movies column continues to be a waste of paper and a sad replacement for the gamer movie reviews of Spoony from The Spoony Expriment. This month, they discuss the Underworld movies and how you can use them and other resources for your Vampire/Werewolf themed role-playing games. (sarcasm) I'm sure this is wonderful news for all of you numerous White Wolf players who had NO IDEA that these movies were here. (/sarcasm)
They even talk about other movies and book series you can use for your game. Because we really need a three-page column to tell us how you can steal ideas from Blade and Dresden Files for an RPG.
WARLORD #11 - A few more flashbacks this time around but we finally get some action toward the end and a little bit better idea of what Grell has been building us towards for the past few months as well as an explanation regarding just how the magic/science of big bad Demios has caused some of the series events to occur.
It's a must read for any fan of good fantasy.